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Ann Arbor SPARK’s Entrepreneurial Services team provided support to nine of the 11 Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition (AMIC) 2014 prize winners. The two top winners, SkySpecs and CribSpot Realty, are Ann Arbor SPARK clients.SkySpecs

“The fact that Ann Arbor companies performed so well at AMIC highlights two key strengths of this region’s entrepreneurial economy,” said Bill Mayer, who heads up Ann Arbor SPARK’s Entrepreneurial Services team. “Startups in Ann Arbor have access to a range of support services that help them throughout the various stages of business development, and those services are a critical safety net when fledgling companies most need support. Additionally, startups in Ann Arbor benefit from a robust network of mentors who have ‘been there, done that’ and can offer the advice and guidance they need to move quickly from startup to success.”

SkySpecs, a drone collision software developer, took home the grand prize of $500,000. CribSpot Realty, a startup company that developed an online student rental properties service, took home the second place prize of $100,000. Cribspot

Several SPARK companies were award winners in the sector specific categories. Winners in these categories were presented with checks for $25,000.

  • Solartonic won the Alternative Energy prize for solarlume, a connected, off the grid, solar-powered streetlamp.
  • Ornicept won the IT Prize for Specteo, a tablet-based field surveying software and web-administration tool.
  • Akervall Technologies won the Advanced Materials prize for the Sisu mouthguard, which is more durable than other mouthguards on the market.
  • FreeStride Therapeutics won the Life Science prize for developing therapies for bone-related conditions.
  • AlertWatch won the Advanced Transportation prize for its patient-monitoring technology.
  • Beet Analytics won the Manufacturing award for its development of automation systems solutions.

Ann Arbor SPARK company TurtleCell won the People’s Choice award for the second year in a row. The company was awarded $10,000 for its retractable headphone iPhone cases.

The SPARK-assisted student company Heel Secret took home the second place prize of $5,000 for its device that connect high heels to the people wearing them.

Accelerate Michigan is an international competition that brings together entrepreneurs with local, national and international investors.

The Ann Arbor SPARK Entrepreneurial Services team provides incubator and business acceleration assistance to early stage technology companies. Ann Arbor SPARK’s services are designed to shorten the amount of time it takes to bring in capital, customers and other important resources.